In the village of Chamarel, located in the south of Mauritius, there is a unique geopark called the Seven-Color Land, which amazes with its colorful sand dunes composed of seven different colors. This geological site, about 7 million years old, is the only one of its kind and attracts tourists from all over the world.
Formation of sand dunes
Although scientists do not fully understand the processes involved in the geopark, it is believed that the sand dunes were formed as a result of volcanic activity. The intense color displays on the mounds range from the more typical earthy hues of red, brown, and yellow to vivid and unexpected shades of purple, green, blue, and violet.
As the mineral waters cause the clay to chemically decompose, ferralite soil, rich in iron and aluminum, is formed, resulting in red and blue hues, respectively. The different hues are the result of the molten rock cooling at different temperatures, causing different gradients between red and blue hues. Further erosion of the hills has resulted in unique mounds and valleys carved by torrential rains, giving the site a distinctly lumpy appearance.
The Seven-Color Land Geopark is the only known place on the planet where you can find seven different types and colors of sand rubbing against each other. One of the many fascinating qualities of the multicolored sands is that if you take each different color and mix them together, eventually they will still separate and settle into their respective groups.
There are several rainbow-colored geological wonders around the world, from Rainbow Mountain in China to the Great Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. However, the Seven-Color Land Geopark is the only known place where seven different types and colors of sand rub against each other.
A popular tourist destination since the 1960s, the 8.5-hectare geopark doesn’t look like it’s going to lose its stellar appeal anytime soon. Interestingly, despite the constant heavy rains in Mauritius, these sand dunes don’t seem to be deteriorating at any significant rate.
The geopark’s observation deck allows visitors to admire this feature from a decent distance. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that putting mittens on the precious sand of the dune is strictly forbidden to tourists.
Other places with colored sand
There are several places in the world where you can see colored sand. Namibia has fancy blue colored sand, and Alaska is famous for its gem-like sand. However, the Seven-Color Land Geopark remains the only place where you can see seven different colors of sand.
Interesting facts about Geopark
– The Seven Colored Land Geopark was established in 1998 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
– The geopark has several tropical gardens and parks where you can see a variety of flora and fauna.
– The name “Seven Color Land” comes from the seven different colors of sand that can be seen in the geopark.
– The Geopark is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mauritius and attracts thousands of visitors each year.